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Defense: breaking the "pairing" archetype

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07-09-2010, 07:20 AM
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snarktacular
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Defense: breaking the "pairing" archetype

Here's a list of our current defense:
Visnovsky
Lydman
Wisniewski (maybe)
Sbisa
Eminger
Brookbank
Festerling/Mikkelson(RFA) They're pretty equally bad.


Now we have rightfully been worried about how this defense will hold up. But I think part of the problem is that we are conditioned to think that defense plays in pairs, and that pairs are 1-2-3 in quality.

If Murray signs Wisniewski and no one else, what is the chance that Carlyle ends up not running pairs? This isn't entirely unprecedented. The coaching staff goes by duos for the forward lines. They constantly switch lines up. And they did that to some extent back when we had Niedermayer and Pronger.

Think of it this way. There's 120 minutes in a game for defensemen, assuming 2 are on the ice at all times. Now split that up however you want. Say we give Visnovsky 25 minutes a game (that's what he averaged last year as a Duck). So say he plays 12 minutes with Wisniewski and 12 minutes with Lydman. Or maybe he splits 8 minutes and change with those 2 and also Sbisa.


Would you accept a situation like this? And if so, how would you split up the minutes? Furthermore, how would you split up the mini-pairs? I guess for simplicity's sake, we can pretend there's no PP or PK time. Or you could go more detailed.

For reference, here's a TOI table from last year.
Visnovsky25:59
Lydman18:51
Wisniewski24:20
Eminger19:28
Brookbank14:57
Festerling/Mikkelson~13
Sbisa12:37
Rookie*16:28
Rookie-Beauch**13:53

*Rookie = typical Carlyle rookie defenseman who sticks permanently after their rookie season (average of Huskins, Beauchemin, O'Brien, and Dipenta, to get a prediction for Sbisa)
**Same group minus Beauchemin (he got 24+ minutes, possible outlier)

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07-09-2010, 07:55 AM
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Elvs
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Visnovsky - Wisniewski
Lydman - Sbisa/Eminger
Brookbank - Eminger/Sbisa
Mikkelson

That's what I expect if he doesn't get another defenseman. Hopefully he will get another top 4, and I think he will, but perhaps not a #2.

I'm opposed to players splitting too much time with different defensive partners. We need Visnovsky to be as good as possible, for that to happen I think it's important to let chemistry grow with one certain player.

I also think that part of the reason Eminger played better at the end, was because he pretty much had a regular spot in the top 4. Not saying I want him in that role, but early in the season where he was moved around from anywhere between #4 and #7 it made him even worse imo.

So, having one consistant partner benefits the best players and the one's not so good imo. A guy like Lydman however, could probably work in a role like that. He isn't a player that relies much on the other defenseman in his pairing.

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07-09-2010, 08:20 AM
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begbeee
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Višňovský - Wisniewsky is the most black cherry duo in hockey ...

I love it

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07-09-2010, 10:52 AM
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That pairing would not be able to shut down 80% of the leagues top lines... would make the team a .500% type of team.

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07-09-2010, 06:27 PM
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snarktacular
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvstrand View Post
Visnovsky - Wisniewski
Lydman - Sbisa/Eminger
Brookbank - Eminger/Sbisa
Mikkelson

That's what I expect if he doesn't get another defenseman. Hopefully he will get another top 4, and I think he will, but perhaps not a #2.

I'm opposed to players splitting too much time with different defensive partners. We need Visnovsky to be as good as possible, for that to happen I think it's important to let chemistry grow with one certain player.

I also think that part of the reason Eminger played better at the end, was because he pretty much had a regular spot in the top 4. Not saying I want him in that role, but early in the season where he was moved around from anywhere between #4 and #7 it made him even worse imo.

So, having one consistant partner benefits the best players and the one's not so good imo. A guy like Lydman however, could probably work in a role like that. He isn't a player that relies much on the other defenseman in his pairing.
Yeah that's the strongest counterargument I could think of.

But to that I say, consider other sports like football or basketball. Those sports also have substitutions, and players are frequently rotated in and out. Wholesale changes are much rarer. And yet they do fine. It's partially because they are trained to play in a system, so when one player leaves the replacement tries to play the same system.

It also seems to me that "chemistry" and "knowing where your partner is" is the kind of thing that affects offensive plays more than defensive plays. Of course it also helps in defense, but it just seems like it would be more important so you know when to pass to a guy in the slot for a scoring chance. If this is true, then it would make sense to rotate defenders more than forwards.

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